The End of Internet Privacy? Glenn Greenwald on Secret NSA Program to Crack Online Encryption
A new exposé based on the leaks of Edward Snowden has revealed the National Security Agency has developed methods to crack online encryption used to protect emails, banking and medical records. "Encryption is really the system that lets the Internet function as an important commercial instrument all around the world," says Glenn Greenwald of The Guardian, which collaborated with The New York Times and ProPublica on the reporting.
"It’s what lets you enter your credit card number, check your banking records, buy and sell things online, get your medical tests online, engage in private communications. It’s what protects the sanctity of the Internet." Documents leaked by Snowden reveal the NSA spends $250 million a year on a program which, among other goals, works with technology companies to "covertly influence" their product designs. "The entire system is now being compromised by the NSA and their British counterpart, the GCHQ," Greenwald says. "Systematic efforts to ensure that there is no form of human commerce, human electronic communication, that is ever invulnerable to their prying eyes."
"Undermining the Very Fabric of the Internet": Bruce Schneier on NSA’s Secret Online Spying
In an effort to undermine cryptographic systems worldwide, the National Security Agency has manipulated global encryption standards, utilized supercomputers to crack encrypted communications, and has persuaded — sometimes coerced — Internet service providers to give it access to protected data. Is there any way to confidentially communicate online? We speak with security technologist and encryption specialist Bruce Schneier, who is a fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society.
He has been working with The Guardian on its recent NSA stories and has read hundreds of top-secret NSA documents provided by Edward Snowden. "I have resisted saying this up to now, and I am saddened to say it, but the U.S. has proved to be an unethical steward of the internet. The U.K. is no better. The NSA’s actions are legitimizing the internet abuses by China, Russia, Iran and others," wrote Schneier on Thursday.
NSA Surveillance: A Guide To Staying Secure
Bruce Schneier, theguardian.com - The NSA has huge capabilities – and if it wants in to your computer, it's in. With that in mind, here are five ways to stay safe
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Now that we have enough details about how the NSA eavesdrops on the internet, including today's disclosures of the NSA's deliberate weakening of cryptographic systems, we can finally start to figure out how to protect ourselves.
For the past two weeks, I have been working with the Guardian on NSA stories, and have read hundreds of top-secret NSA documents provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden. I wasn't part of today's story – it was in process well before I showed up – but everything I read confirms what the Guardian is reporting.
At this point, I feel I can provide some advice for keeping secure against such an adversary.
The US Government Has Betrayed The Internet. We Need To Take It Back
Bruce Schneier, The Guardian - The NSA has undermined a fundamental social contract. We engineers built the internet – and now we have to fix it
Government and industry have betrayed the internet, and us.
By subverting the internet at every level to make it a vast, multi-layered and robust surveillance platform, the NSA has undermined a fundamental social contract. The companies that build and manage our internet infrastructure, the companies that create and sell us our hardware and software, or the companies that host our data: we can no longer trust them to be ethical internet stewards.
This is not the internet the world needs, or the internet its creators envisioned. We need to take it back.
And by we, I mean the engineering community.
Yes, this is primarily a political problem, a policy matter that requires political intervention.
But this is also an engineering problem, and there are several things engineers can – and should – do.
NSA Can Spy on Smart Phone Data
SPIEGEL has learned from internal NSA documents that the US intelligence agency has the capability of tapping user data from the iPhone, devices using Android as well as BlackBerry, a system previously believed to be highly secure.
The United States' National Security Agency intelligence-gathering operation is capable of accessing user data from smart phones from all leading manufacturers. Top secret NSA documents that SPIEGEL has seen explicitly note that the NSA can tap into such information on Apple iPhones, BlackBerry devices and Google's Android mobile operating system.
The documents state that it is possible for the NSA to tap most sensitive data held on these smart phones, including contact lists, SMS traffic, notes and location information about where a user has been.
The documents also indicate that the NSA has set up specific working groups to deal with each operating system, with the goal of gaining secret access to the data held on the phones.
How the NSA Accesses Smartphone Data
SPIEGE - The US intelligence agency NSA has been taking advantage of the smartphone boom. It has developed the ability to hack into iPhones, android devices and even the BlackBerry, previously believed to be particularly secure.
Michael Hayden has an interesting story to tell about the iPhone. He and his wife were in an Apple store in Virginia, Hayden, the former head of the United States National Security Agency (NSA), said at a conference in Washington recently. A salesman approached and raved about the iPhone, saying that there were already "400,000 apps" for the device. Hayden, amused, turned to his wife and quietly asked: "This kid doesn't know who I am, does he? Four-hundred-thousand apps means 400,000 possibilities for attacks."
Hayden was apparently exaggerating only slightly. According to internal NSA documents from the Edward Snowden archive that SPIEGEL has been granted access to, the US intelligence service doesn't just bug embassies and access data from undersea cables to gain information. The NSA is also extremely interested in that new form of communication which has experienced such breathtaking success in recent years: smartphones.